A Real-Time Battle Over Trashy Art Is Becoming a Big Deal for Bitcoin

Story by: Rachel Rose O’Leary

A bird? A plane? No, that’s just a giant penis spouting flaming bitcoin.

Such is the canvas at Satoshi’s Place, a web app that allows savvy users to create digital pictures by sending small amounts of bitcoin. In the weeks since its release, the graffiti tool has become the site of territorial battles of pixel-space, with tribes of every description, from national flags, to cryptocurrency insignias, to companies, all competing for a patch of digital property.

Created by a developer who goes by the handle “Lightning K0ala,” the project is inspired by Reddit’s massive multiplayer art experiment, “Place,” a three-day effort in collaborative drawing that garnered hype in 2017 (called, among similar sentiments, “the iconic picture of our time” by Paste Magazine).

But while participants on Reddit’s r/place had a time constraint – users had to wait between five and 20 minutes before submitting a new pixel to the board – at Satoshi’s Place, the limit is only how much bitcoin users are willing to fork over.

A pixel on Satoshi’s Place is priced at one satoshi, or 0.00000001 bitcoin. And for 0.01 bitcoin, around $65 at current prices, users can take over the entire board, all by using a newly live payments technology for bitcoin called the lightning network.

According to data provided by the app’s creators, there’s been nearly 3,000 paid invoices running across the lightning network, for more than 8 million painted pixels, garnering the attention of about 10,000 unique daily visitors to the site.

“Satoshi’s Place has been the first app that has gained wider attention from the community,” said Elizabeth Stark, the CEO of Lightning Labs, a startup building a user implementation of lightning.

And as users compete for art real estate with their wallets, according to advocates, the quickly shifting cultural depiction of cryptocurrency enthusiasts demonstrates not only how Lightning can free the bitcoin blockchain from its scalability constraints, but also how technologies like these could eventually outpace traditional financial systems.

As such, even with many laughing at the 13 penises that adorned the website on Monday, Satoshi’s Place isn’t all crypto memes and minds in the gutter.

“It shows that bitcoin is, in fact, scaling and increasing the use cases the network can support,” Casa engineer Jameson Lopp told CoinDesk, adding:

Original story: https://www.coindesk.com/a-real-time-fight-over-shitty-art-is-becoming-a-big-deal-for-bitcoin/

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